Monday, 30 January 2017

ASK THE DOCTOR - What is ‘Criptorchidism’? How Does it Affect Sex or Fertility in Man?

What is ‘Criptorchidism’? How does it affect sex or fertility in man?
- Dr Kothaari

Criptorchidism i.e. Congenital bilateral undescended testes is a birth defect in men where both the testicles fail to descend into the scrotum and remain stuck either in the inguinal canal or even in the abdomen. In a human foetus, testicles are formed in the abdominal cavity. Just before birth (or shortly after) the testicles slither down into the scrotum through a canal (inguinal canal) in the abdominal cavity. When this fails to happen with both the testicles, it results into Criptorchidism. This can prove destructive to the sperm producing tissue of the testicle, and thus it is important that parents consult a surgeon urgently, if their newborn son’s testicles have not descended into the scrotum. When both testicles fail to descend the condition is invariably due to a pituitary or hypothalamic disorder. By the time a boy becomes an adult, the undescended testicles are mostly nonfunctional, resulting in a deficiency of the hormone testosterone, causing a lack of sexual desire and even impotence. If a man has only one testicle, he is still able to have children; but if both the testicles are undescended (as in criptorchidism), it causes infertility as well as impotence. The undescended testis can turn malignant, if left unattended. Thus, surgery is invariably the only choice of treatment followed by hormonal replacement. Criptorchidism is also often linked with other birth defects in a person.

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